What to Eat If You Have Type 2 Diabetes | Diabetes Health Page

What to Eat If You Have Type 2 Diabetes

By NaDica | Articles

Aug 30

From the first moment when you get the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes all can be overwhelming and daunting.

Likely you will need to face an endless list of tasks such as eating a balanced and healthy diet, medical appointments, being more active, taking medication and quit smoking.

And the first question that comes to your mind is ‘What can I eat?’. At first for sure you are confused and not know much, but do not panic that is normal. After you deal with the diagnoses, you need to learn more about your type of diabetes.

Why? Because there are are some basic things you need to know. Also, you need to be aware of the fact that there are many myths about food and diabetes.

If you are one of the many that just got their diagnoses, stay calm and learn here everything you need to know about diabetes and eating.

The Famous Question – What Can I Eat?

Here we will give you the answer. The answer might surprise you because it is quite simple, you can eat everything. You are probably surprised, but yes all types of foods are good to eat for people that have diabetes type 2.

As a matter of fact in the past, after their diagnosis people were usually given a list of forbidden foods or were told to avoid sugar. Nowadays, all you need to do is maintain and eat a balanced and healthy diet.

You can make changes when it comes to your choices of food that are achievable and realistic in the long term. This differs from one individual to other with type 2 diabetes and depends on the current diet the individual has and goals he/she needs to achieve.

A lot of people that have type 2 diabetes make certain changes in their usual diet to achieve:

  • good blood pressure
  • a healthy weight
  • good control of blood glucose
  • good blood fat levels

According to evidence, your diet can affect on all things above mentioned. You can consult a registered dietitian for advice and special eating plan that will be tailored according to your needs.

The Second Famous Question – ‘What Should I Avoid?’

Avoid fruit juices and sugary drinks. They are responsible for the rise of your blood glucose levels, in fact, they can put them high very quickly and also in the long term you can gain weight.

Instead of the sugary and fruit drinks, you can drink diet soft drinks and water. In your diet, you can include tea or coffee. Drink regular coffee, avoid those with cream.

In addition, you need to avoid foods that are labeled ‘suitable for diabetics’ and ‘diabetic.’ These foods can affect the blood glucose levels since they have similar amounts of fat and calories.

Moreover, they have a laxative effect and are more expensive. The safe thing to do is to stick to the usual foods you had. For an occasional treat, simply opt for your usual and normal treat, but watch your portions.

Here’s What You Can Consume For Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

We already know that having diabetes not necessarily mean that you need to quit your usual and favorite foods, however, it is vital that you make healthier choices on a regular basis.

Here are some suggestions for the 3 main and important meals of the day.


  • fruit and a yogurt that is fat-free
  • one bowl of cereal with milk that is semi-skimmed
  • Two medium- size slices of whole grain toast with jam


  • small pasta salad
  • ham or chicken salad sandwich
  • soup and fruit


  • rice and curry
  • salad and lasagne
  • noodles and salmon
  • roast chicken with vegetables and potatoes
  • salad and chicken tortillas
  • beef stir-fry, rice, and vegetables

Once you take a closer look at all ideas, you will notice that they are not very different from what you already consume. Also, you will be aware that your favorite meals and recipes can be easily adapted to be healthier without a huge difference in taste.

Such easy changes are:

  • to reduce the portion sizes
  • to reduce the salt, fat and sugar content of food
  • include more vegetables and fruits

Making these changes can help, however, do not go over the top and change everything right after your diabetes diagnosis simply because you will find it difficult to stay focused in the long run.


Usually, you do not need snacks between meals unless you take medications for your type of diabetes. In case you treat diabetes with particular medication, there is a risk of low blood glucose, i.e. hypos, and you might need to snack.

Consult your doctor, if because of the medications you need to snack on a regular basis in order to prevent hypos. You should know that regular snacks will make things difficult for you when it comes to diabetes management and maintaining a healthy weight.

The healthiest choice of snack is fat-free yogurt, a piece of fruit and rice cakes. You need to watch your portions.

Keep a Food Diary

According to a recent study, it is good to keep a food diary if you want to lose weight. People that kept a food diary actually lost twice as much weight in comparison to those people who did not have a food diary.

This might seem a little silly, but it actually works. How? Well, a written record can help you find out which are your problem areas, for example, your morning latte or maybe your evening snack.

These are the actual places where you might be getting more calories than you are aware. In addition, it helps to increase your awareness of how much you consume and in that way you can reduce on mindless snacking.

Recommendation in the Long Term

A balanced and healthy diet means that you need to consume plenty of vegetables and fruits and eat regular meals. Also, you need to eat less salt, sugar, and saturated fat.

Maintaining and following a balanced and healthy diet can aid control the blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood fats and will help you to have a healthy weight.

With this, you will reduce the risk of diabetes complications such as stroke and heart disease. Reduce portions to manage the glucose levels. The biggest effect on the blood sugar levels can have the number of carbs you consume.

It is essential to make better choices when it comes to carbs like dairy foods, vegetables, whole grains, pulses, and fruits. In case you have some extra pounds, you should consider reducing your portions sizes, and with that, you will lose weight.

Losing weight can help you to better manage the cholesterol level, blood glucose and also blood pressure. Make realistic and gradual changes, and in that way, you have a greater chance of success.

Get all the necessary tools to achieve that – right information from structured education, the backing of your friends and family, and support from a registered dietitian.

Just breathe, now it may feel overwhelming, but in time it will get easier. Keep your head up and remember you are stronger than diabetes.

Source Diabetes UK | Help Guide